Cuba Libre & Sailing
Roaming over its green hills or sailing along its tiny, white-sanded islands, you’ll wonder what took you so long to see “the other Cuba.” This unique combo adventure on land and water will take you places most people don’t know even exist. Meander through the lush, laid back communities of Cuba’s “Garden Province” and dive into local culture for a night at a unique homestay. Sail aboard a catamaran to tour (and lay on) the secluded beaches of the thinly populated Canarreos Archipelago islands. Experience life in the sun you’ve always hoped was real.
Cigar factory tour (Pinar del Rio). Cabo San Antonio excursion including Roncalí Lighthouse. Beach time (María La Gorda). Las Terrazas visit. Havana orientation walk. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities, sailing aboard a catamaran through the islands of Canarreos Archipelago in southern Cuba (6 nts). Hotel night at the start of the tour in Havana (1nt).
Relax on the beautiful Caribbean beaches, experience Cuban hospitality during a homestay, visit a factory that produces world-famous Cuban cigars, sail on a catamaran through the beautiful turquoise waters of the Canarreos Archipelago, stop to snorkel or share a drink with friendly locals, enjoy the slow pace of life in the islands.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1.Please note that space is very,very limited on the boat and especially in your cabin. It is important that you only take on board soft sided luggage such as a mid sized backpack or soft duffel bag, keeping your bag’s weight to less than 15kgs. Suitcases are not appropriate for our Sailing Cuba Adventure as they are not pliable enough to fit into the niches available for luggage. If you are on a longer trip, it may be possible to store excess luggage for one week at the yacht marina.
2.Fresh water is very limited on board, and as such we ask for your understanding that showers are limited to one quick shower per person a day.One towel per week is provided for showering purposes – please bring a beach towel. Drinking water is provided free of charge on board the yacht.
3. It’s important to note that the beds in the cabins are not the usual length of a standard bed. The length is approximately 1.8 meters ( 6 feet)
Group Leader Description
This sailing adventure is staffed by a qualified skipper, a local cook/first mate and a G Adventures CEO. Your onboard team know the island groups extremely well and are passionate about sharing their hidden secrets with their “crew”. They know the best secluded beaches, snorkeling spot, coolest beach bars and where you can check your internet.
Group Size Notes
Max 14, avg 12.
Eating is a big part of traveling. Traveling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world.
Food is a major part of this sailing adventure. You will enjoy many home cooked meals lovingly prepared by our on board cook. Portions are generous and will include sea food, typical Cuban dishes and even the occasional breakfast fry up.
Drinking water is provided and beer, wine and soft drink is available to purchase at cost price aboard.
Non included meals are taken ashore at local restaurants.
There’s nothing left to do but kick back and relax!
Private van, 24m (82 ft) sailing catamaran.
About our Transportation
Please note that this is a sailing catamaran, and the skipper will be using wind power when the winds are agreeable. Although this is not a learn to sail program, you may have a chance to learn a few tricks of the trade and assist the skipper with navigation while sailing. There are times when motoring the catamaran will be required, due to unfavorable wind conditions.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (6 nts), casa particulars (homestay) (2 nts), 7 twin/double bed cabins, all with en suite bathrooms (6 nts).
Note this catamaran is equipped with 7 passenger cabins some with 2 beds (upper and lower) and some with double beds. All cabins have attached bathrooms with showers and the vessel has an onboard kitchenette, interior and exterior common areas and plenty of outside deck space. If you are traveling alone, you will be paired up in a cabin with another traveler of the same gender.Please expect them to be very small. The bunk length is 1.8 meters ( 6ft) with limited head height and limited storage for luggage.
Most of of our sailors tend to spend very, very little time in their cabins, just using them to sleep and store clothes.
Hotel Quinta Avenida
Av 5ta A 76- 80
Miramar district, Cuba
Telephone:+(53 7) 214 1470
Please note that the February 20th, 2016 departure will begin at the below homestay:
Peña Pobre #63 e/ Habana y Aguiar
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.
If you have pre-arranged an arrival transfer, look for the driver holding a G Adventures sign in the arrivals hall. Please approach them, and ask them who they are supposed to be picking up (do not tell them your name, they should have this information already). Once they give you the correct name, have your passport ready to show them and you will be on your way!
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (9am-9pm) Lenia Hernandez Rodriguez +53 5289 0826
G Adventures Office San Jose, Costa Rica During Office hours (Weekdays 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 2224 5560 After hours emergency number: +506 8322 9140
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Finishing Point Instructions
Please do not arrange any onward travel until after 3pm. We typically arrive back into Havana around noon – 1pm, but in the event there are any delays, it’s best to plan ahead.
What to Take
There is limited space on the yachts. We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack. A good size daypack is also essential. PLEASE NOTE: No hard suitcases are permitted due to limited space.
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- USD Cash
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
- Money belt
- G Adventures vouchers and dossier
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Camera and film, playing cards or other favorite games, reading/writing material, binoculars, snorkel gear (highly recommended). Masks and snorkels are sometimes available aboard the yachts (flippers are unavailable), however we cannot guarantee their availability or quality.
- Fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- swim wear
- beach towel (a towel for your use when showering is provided on board)
- 4 shirts/t-shirts
- Sun hat
- 1 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- Sturdy walking shoes or sport sandals suitable for walking on sharp rocks or through jungle
- flip flops
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- First-aid kit (should contain motion sickness medication, lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Pocket knife
- waterproof bag to protect camera etc during dingy rides
- rash shirt for swimming
Laundry facilities are not available on the boat. You may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
A “Tourist Card” is required for most nationalities to travel to Cuba. Many airlines to Cuba include the cost of this card in the flight cost and distribute the card during the flight. Some airlines do not provide this card, so it is best to call your airline and ask about it prior to travel. Tourist cards are also available from a Cuban consulate or embassy and cost approximately $20-$25CUC.
Upon arrival to Cuba, keep your Tourist Card in a safe place, as it is necessary to show at all homestays and also upon departure from the country.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The currency in Cuba is the Cuban Peso (CUP).
Bringing cash is the easiest way to travel in Cuba, though please take extra security precautions to avoid theft. Please note that until further notice AUD and NZD are not accepted in Cuba. Because of these difficulties we recommend that you arrive in Cuba with CAD, EUR, GBP, or Mexican pesos which can be easily converted into Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) at the 8% conversion fee.
As of November 8, 2004 the US Dollar is no longer being used as official currency. The Cuban Convertible Peso is at a similar value to the US Dollar, and can be acquired at any change house or bank. Please note that any transaction involving the US Dollar in Cuba automatically incurs a 18% fee.
People traveling in Cuba with Visa credit cards can still use them for cash advances, however all transactions will be subject to an 18% fee. Bank cards from US banks do not work in Cuba, and cards using the Cirrus or Maestro systems are nearly impossible to use. The best credit cards to bring are Visa Plus. Please note that ATMs are not widespread and generally speaking debit cards do not work in Cuba from any foreign banks.
If you plan to use a bank card, it would be advisable to check with your bank directly prior to your departure as to whether the card should work in Cuba.
We do not recommend you bring travellers cheques, as it is very difficult to exchange them in Cuba.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent). Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) are extremely difficult to convert outside of Cuba, be sure to convert any remaining CUC before departing Cuba.
You are advised NOT to change money on the street outside the airport or your hotel. Reliable money exchange may only be done at Cadecas (change houses), Banks, or Hotel Reception.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO, Skipper and Cook did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $10-15 USD per person, per day can be used.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
Greece is a relatively safe country if you take the same precaution you would back home in any major and/or touristy cities, use comon sense and do not hesitate to ask your skipper about specific areas to avoid. Also it is recommended to carry with you only the money and documentation you need for the day. Always keep an eye on your belongings, while having a drink, at the internet cafe, waiting at the bus station…
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO). Local guides. Skipper and assistant/cook while sailing.
Allow USD355-465 for meals not included.
13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: CCVL, ID: 23451
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
Day 1 Havana
Arrive at any time.
It is important to note that Cuba tends to be quite different to other areas of the world you may have travelled in. Buildings and infrastructure are generally old and may not have been maintained to the highest standard. Elevators, internet and A/C often break down, things happen very slowly and water pressure and hot water can be minimal. Cuba is an amazing place to visit but to fully enjoy and relax, western expectations should be left at home and your sense of adventure should be your guide.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Havana/Viñales (1B)
Travel into the Pinar del Rio province to the small town of Viñales, beautifully located in a fertile valley surrounded by the unusual mogotes, or limestone pincushion hills.
Arguably one of the prettiest natural areas in Cuba, there are myriad opportunities to enjoy the area— go horseback riding, hiking, or simply sit back and enjoy the view.
While you’re here, visit a “vega” or cigar factory, to see how the famous Cuban cigars are made.
Cigar Factory Tour
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 190km)
Day 3 Viñales (1B)
Enjoy a free day in the area. Opt to go caving, hiking, biking, horseback riding, or just relax and enjoy the beautiful views of the valley.
Day 4 Viñales/María la Gorda (1B)
En route to María la Gorda, opt to stop and tour the world-famous Robaina Tobacco Plantation.
Maria la Gorda’s location on the Northwestern tip of Cuba offers some of the best sunsets, beaches and marine life you will find in Cuba, an ideal place for water sports.
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 170km)
Day 5 María la Gorda (1B)
From María la Gorda, head out to Cabo San Antonio, a protected area famous for the sea turtles that lay their eggs on the beach. After learning some information about the region, stop by the Roncalí lighthouse. Enjoy some free time on the beach.
Cabo San Antonio and Roncalí Lighthouse Excursion
Day 6 María la Gorda/Soroa (1B)
Travel to the lush mountain resort of Soroa. Known as the ‘rainbow of Cuba’, the area receives a lot of rainfall resulting in the growth of tall trees and orchids. There are nearby coffee plantations, waterfalls and hot springs for the passing visitor.
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 230km)
Day 7 Soroa/Havana (1B)
Travel back to Havana, stopping at lush Las Terrazas en route.
Las Terrazas Stop
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 90km)
Day 8 Havana
Enjoy free time in Havana.
Day 9 Havana/Cienfuegos (1B, 1D)
Spend the afternoon getting to know the crew and the yacht, followed by a safety briefing and an early dinner on board.
Following dinner, the CEO will be happy to show the group around Cienfuegos by foot. Relax at the end of the evening while taking in the local sites of this rustic town.
Later in the evening, depart for the islands, waking up at an amazing anchorage in the Canarreos Archipelago.
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 250km)
Day 10 Cienfuegos/Archipiélago de los Canarreos (1B, 1L, 1D)
Today we begin to explore some of the the Caribbeans most beautiful islands.
Composed of approximately 350 islets, the islands are known to be more rustic and quiet than many of the other popular Cuban travel destinations.
Relax and enjoy the warm Caribbean air, or take the opportunity to fish. The cook will happily prepare any fish that are caught.
24m (82 ft) sailing catamaran
Days 11-13 Archipiélago de los Canarreos
Explore the remote and beautiful islands of the Canarreos Archipelago. Snorkel the crystal-clear waters in search of colourful fish, relax on the beach, and dine on some of the best seafood you’ll ever have.
Cayo Largo Visit
Cayo Rico Visit
24m (82 ft) sailing catamaran
Day 14 Archipiélago de los Canarreos/Cienfuegos (1B, 1D)
Wake up and admire the view from the lighthouse in Cayo Guano. Enjoy one last snorkel before sailing back from the Canarreos Archipelago to the town of Cienfuegos. Enjoy some final time on deck, and keep an eye out for fish and other marine life along the way.
24m (82 ft) sailing catamaran (7.00-9.00 hours)
Day 15 Cienfuegos/Havana (1B)
Depart Cienfuegos after breakfast and arrive back into Havana around midday where the trip will end. After being dropped off at the hotel your CEO will be able to help with onward travel arrangements.
Departure Day (Activities)
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 250km)